The Swing feeling

Alberto Betancourt The Swing feeling consists in performance of eighth-notes. If there are two eighth-notes in a beat, the value of first one is double of second one. So a quarter-note is converted into a triplet of eighths but adding a slur from 1st to 2nd. In order to master the swing feeling, let’s play this exercise:

The rhythmic pattern of Swing is performed so in drums-set: 1

In the left part of example is the swing pattern as written. In the right part is the same pattern as performed. If you are not a drummer and don’t know this pattern, please play it on a table and the floor so: left foot plays the bassdrum, right foot plays the hi-hat pedal, right hand plays the Cymbal, and left hand plays the snare-drum.

Let’s play a well known Jazz standard. It is written so:

You will find it in that form, but you must perform it in this way, marking the rhythmic pulse with foot in quarter-notes:


You never will find a swing written in that form. This is an example of how it must be performed.

Let’s play this other well known jazz standard:


Please perform it in this way:

Perform the first theme of The Midnight Sun:


A suggestion for performing it:

Play it many times until mastering it. 5

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